Courtesy of Killington Mountain School
Killington Mountain School seniors stand together during the winter-term awards ceremony on April 1. Pictured from left to right: Lily Hogan, Ava Mattsson, Sophie Norton, Tory Harrington, Noah Barrow, Cassidy Bebo, Jeremy Norton, Tommaso Auerbach, Matt Bustillo, Joey Searle. Seniors Grace Weinberg and Gavin Ferguson (not pictured) were away competing.
On Friday, April 1, after some good-spirited competition in the school’s annual Fun Day, Killington Mountain School students, staff, parents and friends gathered for an evening to celebrate the athletic and academic accomplishments of the student body and to celebrate the seniors as winter-term came to a close.
After words of welcome by Head of School Tao Smith, the program was off to a start, with academic department heads recognizing the top students in each department. Max Wonsavage (English), EK Robinson-Leith (science), Rebecca Clark (math), Ayden Schain (history), and Jeremy Norton (foreign language) were all recognized for their outstanding commitment to their studies and their exceptional work.
Next was the Dorm Leadership Award, presented by Cole Whitaker to Tory Harrington for her positive attitude and contributions to quality dorm life. The Head of School Award was given to Bobby Ryan this year by Tao Smith for Bobby’s leadership, dedication, and commitment to the KMS community.
Athletic awards were given by coaches from each discipline. Recipients were as follows:
- Men’s U19 Alpine: Most Improved—Paul Ferri. Coach’s Award—Bobby Ryan. Skiing Excellence—Marc Hartnett.
- Women’s U19 Alpine: Most Improved—Rebecca Clark. Coach’s Award—Cassidy Bebo. Skiing Excellence—Lily Hogan.
- Men’s U16 Alpine: Most Improved—Matt Fryer. Coach’s Award—Quin Taylor. Skiing Excellence—Brad Underhill.
- Women’s U16 Alpine: Most Improved—Bella Amico. Coach’s Award—Francesca Castellini. Skiing Excellence—Izzy Jenne.
- U14 Alpine: Most Improved—Ryan Bianchi. Coach’s Award—Lizzie DeGraw. Skiing Excellence—Tanner Graves.
- Freestyle: Most Improved—Ian Beauregard. Coach’s Award—Alex Lewis. Skiing Excellence—Abe Studler and Hannah Soar.
- Freeski: Skiing Excellence—Zylis Hawkins.
- Snowboard: Most Improved—Liam Scott. Coach’s Award—Kian Hauschildt and Matt Miller. Riding Excellence—EK Robinson-Leith.
- SkiCross: Skiing Excellence—Mazie Hayden.
- Cycling: Athletic Excellence—Vivien Rindisbacher.
After the Purple Panthers were presented with the Hasse Halley Community Cup, the KMS Staff Recognition Award was presented by Ava Mattsson, Cassidy Bebo, Sophie Norton, and Tory Harrington to Amy Allen. This year marks the second year of the award’s existence; students handle the voting, tallying, and the presentation speech themselves, giving the recipient a race bib signed by the entire student body.
The Senior Awards were next, with the Academic Excellence Award presented by Holly Morse to Sophie Norton for her diligence, dedication, academic curiosity, and consistent hard work and inquiry.
The Arleen Agresto Award was then presented by Head of School Tao Smith to Cassidy Bebo for her true embodiment of the KMS spirit. Cassidy was recognized for her positive spirit, infectious smile and upbeat mood, her multitude of contributions to the school, and her overall appreciation of and willingness to take advantage of the variety of opportunities presented to her at KMS. Arleen was a beloved teacher at KMS years ago, who challenged students to achieve their personal best, always holding students to a high standard, all the while truly loving each and every one of them and the school as a whole.
The final award of the night was the Coriell Cup, named after long-time friend, past parent, and KMS board member Fred Coriell. The Coriell Cup is the school’s most prestigious award, presented to student-athletes who excel in all aspects of the program. They are the students who best represent by their words and deeds the KMS mission statement. This year’s recipients were Tommaso Auerbach and Lily Hogan.
Tommaso Auerbach gave the senior speech, marked by heartfelt and inspirational words of appreciation for all he and his classmates had accomplished during their time at KMS but also for all that the parents, faculty, and staff had done and continue to do in order to make the KMS experience possible for every student in the room.
Finally, the seniors were presented individually by a staff member of their choice, who shared anecdotes about and remarked on the attributes of each student in order to present a colorful representation of the 12 special students who are now on the brink of heading off to college, post-graduate years, and all the other exciting experiences and opportunities that lie in front of them as they near the point of leaving high school.
Seniors Grace Weinberg and Gavin Ferguson were unable to attend due to previously made family plans and competition (respectively), but faculty member Christine Hartnett stood up and spoke eloquently for Grace, as did Jeff Juneau, via a recorded speech he’d made for Gavin out at Nationals, which was aired during the presentation of the seniors. After each student received his/her certification of completion of the winter-term program, Mike Hone, president of the board of trustees took the podium to praise the accomplishments of both the seniors and the entire student body, as well as to recognize the hard work of Head of School Tao Smith and the entire KMS faculty and staff for a successful winter-term. Hone brought the evening to a close, and after hugs and smiles, families made their way out of the gymnasium and into the crisp evening air, with a palpable unifying spirit that lingered long after the last car left the parking lot.